Found 10th Jul 2009
this should be good viewing

A Channel 4 Dispatches reporter has gone undercover in a debt collection agency for a programme that will air on 20 July, Credit Today has learned.

Presented by Jane Moore, Channel 4 said the programme reveals "some of the tactics deployed to get debtors to pay up, and talks to those unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of this treatment". Earlier this year, Dispatches reporter Tom Randall got a job as a debt collector inside "one of the UKs fastest growing agencies".

The programme is understood to also focus on the sale of debt portfolios. "Some of the biggest high street businesses are cutting their losses and selling on their bad debts to agencies for as little as sixteen pence in the pound," it said. "Agencies who buy up these debts are entitled to pursue debtors for the full amount. In this multi billion pound industry the stakes are high, and Dispatches reveals the lengths collectors will go to, to recover their debts."

Kurt Obermaier, executive director of the Credit Services Association, confirmed that a CSA member had made the trade body aware of the situation. He said the company had the correct policies in place for collections but individual employees appeared to have deviated from them. He was not able to reveal the identity of the agency.

Credit Today understands that allegations include collection professionals putting undue pressure on vulnerable debtors, making premature threats of bankruptcy and chasing third parties and statue barred debts.

Currently set to air on C4, Monday 20th July at 8pm

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